Key Points: Brett Brown Town Hall
Brett Brown met with members of the “media” today to give his own Sixers updates. Brown himself, called the town hall therapeutic – which of course comes as a surprise given the current state of Philadelphia sports and the media that reports on them.
We’ll start with the questions that are always asked.
Ben Simmons Injury:
In pure Sixers fashion, the most recent injury to Ben Simmons and the reporting around it has been…clouded? Initially, reports broke in February that Ben Simmons had pinched a nerve in his back during practice. A few weeks later, Ben Simmons stated that the injury didn’t happen until the game we all know about against the Bucks in the 1st quarter on national television.
Last update we heard, was from Elton Brand’s town hall stating that Ben Simmons would be ready if the season resumes this year.
For those of you who remember in Milwaukee … for me that was as disturbing a memory as it relates to a player that I can think of. He’s lying on his back, he’s vomiting primarily because of pain. Trying to get him back on the plane and build him back up to some level of health where he can play basketball again with us. That timeline was always an interesting one. As the head coach, you ask the question: ‘What do you think?’ His health obviously rules the day. The effort that he has put in, getting [from] where he was, and the significance — he hurt his back in a real way — the effort that he has put in under the restrictions that are all on top of us.
He is to be praised and applauded in a real way, a significant way. The professionalism and discipline that he has shown, having that pass to get into the facility … he’s teed off on that. He’s been outstanding. It could be a little bit of the silver lining of this pandemic, just the fact that you actually have the chance to get somebody like Ben, as important as Ben is, back into our team.
The most disturbing memory as a coach? Brett Brown has been coaching since the 1980’s and this was the icing on the cake? Sounds serious and makes the whole injury even more puzzling because we as fans and even the media, never got a clear answer on exactly what the injury was or when it occurred.
Luckily, the injury seems to be better now and we’re ready to move forward.
Joel Embiid Being “Game Ready”
Given recent history, everyone seems to be concerned with Joel Embiid and his weight / ability to maintain basketball form during the offseason and in this case, a suspended season. Brett Brown seems to believe that Joel Embiid is, in fact, staying in shape.
I’ve had many conversations with Jo. I spoke with him 30 minutes ago, and he’s got a real desire to be at a playing weight that equals his best since he’s been in the league.
Brown continued in detail about what he would expect from Embiid come playoffs:
Really, if the playoffs started pick whatever date you want to choose, my ideal thing is I want to play him about 38 minutes. I really would. In a playoff situation, as the head coach, that’s my ideal number.
And just to reinforce the previous statements:
Joel is completely aware that kind of as he goes with his health and his fitness, we go.
Preparing for the Playoffs
Long quote here and it’s a detailed one so let’s just let Brett speak for himself here.
The reality that we had our starters 19 times out of 65 games is real,” Brown said. “I do believe this team is built for the playoffs. [We’ve] taken deep dives into why we’re poor on the road, why we’re we good at home, the delineation between our starting center position … studying pairings, studying how this team is uniquely built for the playoffs and studying what that means defensively, just as much as offensively.
All those deep dive studies have been unfolding over the past seven weeks, and I feel that, without getting into too much coach speak, we have uncovered some things and confirmed some things that give me tremendous confidence that if the season can continue and the launching pad is realistic enough to have a level of preparation … you really feel confident and comfortable that the team can do some special things, if we can first just get healthy.
Pretty standard. Some good insight. Now we just sit back and wait for the next town hall and any news on the NBA returning.